With the amount of land based fishing I have been doing, it didn’t take long for me to find a need to upgrade from old backpack I’ve been using to carry my gear around in. It was too big for its purpose and I was in desperate need to get my hands on a more comfortable and accessible. As such, I went about getting one of the Daiwa Trout Shoulder Bags and have been quite happily using it for some months now. Yes they are called a ‘Trout’ bag, but this bag has been ideal carrying around a small box of lures, leader and the other necessary gear when heading out for a few hours on foot.
My first thought when I received the bag was that it is smaller than I expected but soon enough you I realised that there is plenty of room to pack plenty of gear for a land based session and sits on my shoulder almost unoticed. To give you an idea, the main pouch doesn’t quite fit a standard 3700 Plano case but that is okay, do you really need a tackle tray that big for a land based session anyway? It fits a 3600 size Plano case nicely, with room to spare to pack other bits and bobs while also making the task of removing that Plano case in and out of the bag easy. On the outside of the bag at one end there is a mesh pouch as well as a slot that securely holds your pliers or scissors with a velcro tab. At the other, there is another small pocket that nicely fits my fluorocarbon leader. Moving to the front of the bag, there are two pockets, the larger velcro pocket is perfect for any bags of soft plastics or loose lures that get changed in the heat of the moment and need to be placed somewhere quickly and finally there is the smaller pocket that holds my car keys and phone behind a waterproof zipper.
In the past, I have tried unsuccessfully using shoulder bags when fishing, while they are great to access your gear on the run, they have a tendency to slide around on your shoulder getting caught up on anything you may brush past, fall off your shoulder or just getting in the way. The point of difference with this bag which makes it more comfortable and easy to use is the secondary strap. Secured and removed quickly and easily by a squeeze style buckle, one end of the strap is attached to the bottom corner of the bag and the other to the main strap. Essentially the waist strap assists in holding the shoulder bag towards your back and stops it swinging around to the side of your body where it can get caught up on trees and other objects easily, doesn’t get in the way while fishing and is fully adjustable. By releasing the buckle with one hand, you can quickly swing the bag around your body to access your gear.
My final thoughts: I think this is a great little bag and definitely beats the backpacks I have been using for some time now. The accessibility of your gear is much easier; it isn’t uncomfortable, doesn’t inhibit my fishing and doesn’t actually look that bad either. I’ve even thought of getting another as a non-fishing related, all-purpose man-bag.